The Catcher in the Rye
by J. D. Salinger
A reader named Daniel S. recently suggested that I read this book. Actually, I have read it several times already...just not since I started
doing the Book Trolley! Anyway, I thought he had a point, so here is my review of this American classic to the best of my ability to
I first read The Catcher in the Rye as an assignment in 12th-grade English class. I re-read it for pleasure, more than once, when I
was in college. I have heard the book called many things: a coming-of-age novel, a teenage 1950s slice of life in the big city, a fairy
tale about a magical land created in the mind of a confused young man (caused by a sense of displacement from the world, either because he
is crazy or because the world is). Films like Conspiracy Theory and Six Degrees of Separation depict the book as a Bible for
wackos and terrorists. My favorite theory, thanks to my high school English teacher, is that it is a Zen Buddhist parable, complete with
contemplative koans, renunciation of the material world, and a very young bodhisattiva.
Pretend you didnt just read that paragraph. Now go read this book. All that you need to know is that its a heartbreaking story about the
point in a teenagers life when he realizes that the world is not going to go the way he expects. I think it is about the pain that comes
when the harsh realities of grown-up life break in on your youthful ideals and innocence. You experience this pain through the vividly
charismatic young voice of Holden Caulfield, a prep-school runaway who is confused about girls, grown-ups, adult role models, friendships,
and the weird things going on inside himself.
I recommend this book. I really do.
Recommended Age: 14+
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